27 September 2013

One OT Fits Most

When living in a land of plenty, there are certain things we take for granted; conveniences we've stopped thinking about, because when we want them, they are there.  Things like boneless-skinless-chicken-breasts . . . AAA . . . high speed internet . . . and Speech & Language Pathologists.

Known to the common man simply as a SpeechTherapist, the SLP is a vital member of the rehab team.  They focus on the motor aspects of speech and the cognitive components of language . . . but they also address swallowing deficits.  Which, as a an OT with my hyper-active gag-reflex, it was always nice to have a colleague who took over once food entered the patient's mouth.

Dysphagia is the technical term we give for 'difficulty swallowing' . . . it is often related to an injury of the brain, such as a stroke or TBI, but it can also be present in some cases of dementia or other neurologic conditions.  And at home, without fail, if there is a diagnosis of dysphagia, we call in the big guns and the SLP arrives on the scene, armed with applesauce, a spoon and a packet of Thick-It.

11 September 2013

The Gift of Stubbornness

When I was interviewing with SIM back in 2007, they asked me to go to a country I had never heard of and start a therapy department in a village-based hospital on the south side of the Sahara.  I wanted to say 'HECK NO!' but, all my inner people-pleaser could muster at the time was 'Uh . . . why would you want ME to go THERE??'

'Because you're stubborn.'

03 September 2013

Strong Enough to Cry

I finally had malaria.

Well, it's quite possible I've had it before just never got tested or treated . . . but after a week of symptoms that weren't getting any better I decided to let the vampires prick my finger and take my blood.

Sure enough, it was positive.